Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Camper

Hi.  This is K and I'm excited to be writing my first blog post which is about Girl's Camp.  I turned 12 this year and so it was my first year at camp.   I wasn't sure what to expect until Back to Camp Night, where older campers explained what it was like.   I also found out who my secret sister would be.   That would be the girl whose bed I’d secretly put small gifts on every day.   It was a girl in my ward, which was good because I knew more about what she liked.   After that, I was super excited and could hardly wait.

A few days before the Monday that camp began, I started to pack everything I would need and finally I was ready to go to camp.   It was hard to fit everything but your sleeping bag and pillow into one bag, though.

It seemed like forever, but Monday morning came.   My dad was asked to take as many girls as would fit in the van up to camp, so I got to ride up with him, along with all the other first years.   My dad wanted to have a party van so he bought Munchies and donuts for us.  Needless to say, the ride up was pretty fun.   When we were almost there, I couldn't tell if I was more nervous or excited.   I think more excited.

My cabin was the closest cabin to the parking lot and was filled with bunk beds.  It wasn't crowded, but you couldn't call it roomy either.   My cabin mates included the other 6 first years from my ward and 6 girls from all the other wards in the stake.   Plus two adult leaders.   The bed I chose was a top bunk next to a wall and my two best friends chose top bunks right next to mine.   Our cabin theme was Indiana Jones so we decorated the walls and ceiling with fake snakes and spiders.   Then we hung twine with paper leaves taped to it all over to look like vines.

I got my camp necklace this year and earned the Cleanest Cabin charm on Wednesday and the First to Flag on Thursday charm to tie onto it.   I also got a few things to tie on from some character building activities we did.

Every day started out with getting up at seven, a little early for summer break, but oh well.   Then we would get dressed and head out to the flag and line up according to our cabin.   We'd sing a song, say prayer, do announcements, then dismiss by cabin for breakfast.   The cafeteria had long tables placed in rows already set by whichever cabin had Kitchen Patrol.   The delicious food was made by the awesome staff, that by the way, also cleaned the bathrooms.

 After breakfast we had certification, which is where you learn skills listed in your camp manual and then get them signed off by a leader.   That took all the way till lunchtime.   Right after lunch we went to a workshop given by one of the leaders on topics such as family, friendship and things like that.   Then all the campers would do a character building activity together, and when that was over, it was free time!

 During free time we could go get a free snow cone and then choose to do archery, crafts, tie-dye, cookie decorating, horseshoe tossing, rock painting, swimming in the river, or endurance, which is different activities you'd do in P.E..   I did almost all those activities through the course of all five days I was there.  One day I did endurance, and it was jump roping and I got a certificate for being the last girl standing, or jumping. 

After free time, which was two hours long, it was cabin time, where you plan out what your cabin was doing for role call at campfire or you practice the skit you're performing at campfire.   Then we'd have dinner and go to campfire.   Campfire was probably one of my favorite parts of camp.   It started out with doing roll call, where each cabin stands up one at a time and sings a little song with made up lyrics or a chant of some kind.   Then we'd sing fun camp songs, watch cabins perform their skits, tell fun stories, and play games around a fire.

When campfire was over, at about 9:30, we'd head back to our cabins and have a lesson given by our Youth Camp Leaders, or YCL's.   Then we could do whatever we wanted inside our cabins until lights out at ten.
My cabin performed our skit on Wednesday at campfire.   Since our cabin theme was Indiana Jones, we decided to act out some of the scenes from all the movies.   We had the big rolling stone scene using a giant beach ball covered in brown paper.   We also made up a few scenes.   My favorite part was in the final scene, and we made it up.   All the girls in the play lined up like we were in a movie theater watching one of the Indiana Jones movies, still in our costumes.   One of my friends was dressed as a Native and had on a paper skirt over her pants that was tied on in the back.   Apparently it wasn’t tied tight enough because it fell down in the middle of the scene.   Everybody started laughing.
Speaking of funny things, when the first years went on a three mile hike for certification, we stopped at the river on the way back and my friend fell in.   And after helping get her out of the water, I slipped and fell in, too.   But at least the water felt good after walking for three miles.

On Thursday, all the bishops from all the different wards got to come up and meet with us.   My bishop brought up hula hoops and we had a contest to see who could do it the longest.   Then we had cake and ice cream that the cooks had gotten ready for everyone.   Then, after campfire we went on the faith walk.   This year, we acted out the story of the ten virgins.   Everyone got a clay oil lamp and a light and then we walked by the river and stopped ten times to hear each of the virgins’ story about why they had oil or why they didn’t.   Then everyone who had oil in their lamps got to go into the cafeteria that had been decorated to look like heaven.

The last day of camp, Friday, we had a testimony meeting in the morning before breakfast.   Then after we ate, we packed up all our stuff and said our goodbyes.   Before I had even left camp, I started to miss it and couldn’t wait until next year.   I’m so glad I was able to go to Girl’s Camp because it was such a fun experience and I made so many new friends that I will get to see next year.   I definitely was a happy camper.


Natasha said...

This is a fantastic report, K!! I am so excited that you've been inducted into the Girls Camp family. I remember absolutely LOVING camp every year that I went. It looks like your cabins are way more chic than ours were, they just had canvas walls - though did have the luxury of screens to keep out many of the bugs. Wish I could go along to be one of the camp leaders some year!

Lauren said...

Wow! What a great report. I am quite impressed. I am so glad that you had fun at girls camp. I loved going every year. I think you shoud post more on the blog. It's fun to hear about things you have done. Great job K!

thewiz3 said...

Congratulations to the last girl standing! You put a lot into this, you got a lot back. [When I was your age (scouting) it was pup tents--each boy carried one tent half in a backpack (not very far).] I missed a picture of your DECORATED cabin. The photography is excellent, like your writing. I'm very happy for you.

sistyugler said...

From Grandma B (sorry, had to remove an identifying name from her original comment) "Your experience at camp was so fun to read - the pictures were a special dimension. I wish every young woman had a great camp like yours--shows you have dedicated, inspired, and fun YW leaders. Keeping this journal will keep those memories fresh throughout your life. Thank you for sharing your happy camping experiences with us. [Grandmother' advice: Be sure you never post personal details. Love you.]"

Anonymous said...

K...I am so proud of you!!1 I have always loved girls camp and feel honored every year that I get to go back with you beautiful girls. it is a place where we can feel the spirit so much stronger than down in our regular day to day lives! Thank you for sharing! Love your YW Pres! :)

Uncle F said...

Congratulations on your first girls camp! Sounds awesome. I wish I could go.

Thanks for sharing with us all. We'll make sure your younger cousins over here read it and get excited for when they can go to camp also!

sistyugler said...

From Aunt M (Sorry, had to remove an identifying name from her comment.) "Wow, what a great report! It makes me nostalgic for girls camp too! I liked the story about falling into the river. What a hoot! You are a great writer!"

Grammy said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful experiences and fun you had at your first Girls Camp. I wasn't a member of the church when I was your age so I never had an opportunity to go to Girls Camp. It sounds like you had a great time, made new friends and learned a lot. I hope you can post more in this blog about school and church activities because I love to hear what's going on in your life.